Advent and the significance of waiting

26 November 2021

A reflection from Pastoral Care Manager, Reverend John Ruhle, marking the beginning of Advent.

Christmas decorations and advertisements are well and truly out, and as hard as it is to believe, Christmas is really not too far away. In the Christian tradition, the season leading up to Christmas is known as Advent. Beginning on Sunday 28 November 2021, Advent continues for four Sundays leading up to Christmas Eve. This is followed by the twelve-day celebration of Christmastide, which has been immortalised by the well-known Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The Wesley Hospital ChapelFrom the dictionary:

advent/ˈadv(ə)nt,ˈadvɛnt/ noun

  1. the arrival of a notable person or thing.
    1. ("the advent of television")
  2. the first season of the Church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.

During a pandemic year, where we have been locked down, home quarantined, unable to travel between states and countries, masked up, and challenged both individually and collectively, I am left wondering with a couple of questions. 

What arrival are you waiting for this year? What notable person or thing is on your heart and in your mind?

Are you waiting for the arrival of family and friends who you have not been able to see for nearly two years? Are you waiting for a courier to knock on your door when your Christmas shopping arrives? Are you waiting for holidays, and for workloads and stress to ease, in order to be able to think about your own welfare and mental health? Are you waiting for the celebration of the Christ child again this year, that reminds us that God is with us, and that God is love?

It is worth remembering that the notable person or thing that we are waiting for often says a lot about who we are and who we want to be.   

May we all take and make the time to see beyond the tinsel this season, and focus on the notable persons and things in our lives that truly have and create meaning.

Christmas greetings and blessings from the Chaplains and the Pastoral Care Department at The Wesley Hospital. 

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